Thursday, October 8, 2009

ISP responds to FOIA request (Dalby)

The response to my September 14th FOIA request to the Illinois State Police was received in today’s mail.

In my request I asked for documentation that would reveal the names of deputies of the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department who had possession of the flash drive onto which Dalby had transferred files from a computer in the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s office during her employment there or the information thereon.

The Illinois State Police Investigative Report dated November 26, 2007, of Sgt. Jim Harris and Special Agent Kristin Thien included Dalby’s remark that she had been advised in October 2007 that “…an african-american (sic) male who worked for the McHenry County Sheriffs Police Department by the name of “Cooper” now know as Michael Cooper would be stopping by her apartment to retrieve the flash drive…”

Dalby’s handwritten voluntary statement on November 26, 2007, includes “…the flash drive was given to a Mr. Cooper, I believe that was his name, he was a black man that was probably about 6 foot tall. I was told he had worked at one time for the Sheriff’s Department.”

The Illinois State Police obtained a wiretap order from McHenry County Judge Michael Caldwell, for the period January 22, 2008, until February 22, 2008.

On March 20, 2008, at about 4:40PM, ISP Sgt. Jim Harris and Special Agent T. Redic conducted a “state court authorized consensual, telephonic overhear” of a telephone call from Dalby to Cooper. The transcription of that call, in summary, is that Dalby informed Cooper that she had been contacted by the State Police. Cooper asked several times if Dalby had a name of the State Police investigator, and she told him that she thought it was Harris.

Cooper told Dalby that he still had the flash drive “as evidence” and told Dalby to give his (phone) number to the State Police. He added, “And then they can contact me directly, since I was a prior State Police. I should know who they are.”

Another ISP report, dated June 26, 2008, states that Sgt. Jim Harris spoke with Michael Cooper by telephone about a future meeting. Cooper told Sgt. Harris he had done nothing wrong and would be willing to speak with him on July 8, 2008.

Sgt. Harris’s report continued, “Cooper stated he was in possession of a thumb drive containing information that was downloaded out of the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office which he had locked up in a safety deposit box. R/A (Reporting Agent/Sgt. Harris) asked Cooper to bring the thumb drive with him the day of the meeting which Cooper agreed to surrender over.”

The FOIA response did not include any further mention of a meeting with Cooper.

An ISP report dated February 8, 2009, described a telephone call earlier that day which Dalby received from Rebecca Lee, with whom she had worked at the State’s Attorney’s Office. Lee told Dalby that she was Kristen Foley’s defense attorney on an unknown matter and told Dalby that a grand jury subpoena had been issued for Michael Cooper and James P. Kelly. Lee wanted to meet with Dalby, but Dalby told Sgt. Jim Harris that she did not anticipate ever calling" (Lee back).

The transcript of the Dalby sentencing hearing on June 1, 2009, includes the following statement by Special Prosecutor David O’Connor, “By way of additional aggravation, the flash drive that the Defendant (Dalby) gave the off-duty Sheriff’s Deputy that contained all the State’s Attorney computer data has now according to that off-duty Sheriff’s Deputy has allegedly been lost.”

Is Cooper the “Sheriff’s Deputy” mentioned by O’Connor? Is Cooper a deputy sheriff or is he employed by the Sheriff’s Department in another capacity? What happened to the flash drive that Cooper had in his safety deposit box?

23 comments:

Curious1 said...

It's always entertaining when a report frames "facts" in the way the writer wants the investigation to go...In this case the investigator believed the statements without doubt when Cooper stated he once had possession of said political documents but when the claim was he could not find it then it becomes "alleged"...The investigator did not know either of the claims to be fact but sells himself out on the direction he wants the evidence to point by is pointed framing of the comments...

Curious1 said...

Though it is good you got the info from the State Police, I wonder when the States Attorney's office is going to get around to turning over the documents requested by the Daily Herald in their FOIA request to the States Attorney on the documents in question from 2007.

Gus said...

Curious1, perhaps you could be more specific about what documents and when the Northwest Herald requested them.

The NWH knows how FOIA works, and it knows what to do when an appeal is denied. It probably has some boilerplate language ready to go - just fill in the blanks and file in Circuit Court.

Curious1 said...

The Daily Herald requested documents from the States Attorney via FOIA at the very beginning of this in 2007. The States Attorney denied the request by saying they could not find any such documents. In the documents unsealed in the case in the recent days it has become public knowledge that the documents the States Attorney said they could not find were indeed found in the same month on the PC in question. How long does it really take to search a PC for specific documents? Yet our States Attorney could not find the documents when someone was accusing him of wrongdoing with them but then find the same documents like the next week to launch an investigation at the witness against him? It's just does not pass any "smell" test by anyone with a bit of common sense.

Curious1 said...

Either way good job on sticking to your FOIA request and getting the info you wanted.

GeneL said...

Wasn't Michael Cooper the campaign manager for Dan Regna. Doesn't Michael Cooper work court security for the sheriff's dept. . Didn't sheriff Nygren openly support Regna in the last election. The coincidences here are astounding. Doesn't Rebecca Lee work for Nygren's buddy Gummerson (you know the one with the special parking space at the courthouse, the one who donates to Nygren). And how do you lose a flash drive from a safety deposit box, was there a bank robbery.
Curious1, (is this Tiffi) you seem all upset that a secretary types somes campaign docs for the SA, but have no problem with the theft of 5000 confidential files. It doesn't bother you that Nygren uses his taxpayer funded office to take pictures with Danni. What about multiple attorneys being involved in a crime. I think the Danni/Dalby request for an investigation is going to bite them in the ass.

Curious1 said...

It's also troubling that the same investigator that was working the case for Mr. Bianchi around the time the Attorney General declined Mr. Bianchi's request to pursue his former secretary, continued as the investigator for the special prosecutor that Mr. Bianchi specifically requested by name. Add that to the seemingly slanted opinions about potential facts in the written reports and it really starts to look to an observer like someone may have been trying to bully the witness in the original public allegation against the States Attorney's office into silence before those original allegations could be investigated.

GeneL said...

Maybe we can get the FBI to investigate. Lets polygraph Dalby, LeFew, Regna, Foley, Cooper,Kelley, Nygren and find out who knew what and when. And who knew of a crime and did nothing. Lets get forensic examinations of all of their computers (before they become lost like the flash drive). Nygren hasn't even done an internal investigation on his deputies that were involved.

Curious1 said...

Gene, the campaign docs being typed up inappropriately doesn't really bother me much. A simple recognition by the State's Attorney that political campaign documents found there way to county office equipment followed by a simple assurance that they will be more careful in the future would have been fine. This whole circus would have been over in a week and we the taxpayer would not have had to pay for this huge boondoggle.

Instead the appearance is that an elected official used the power of his office to bully the witness to allegations he may have done wrong. He used piles of taxpayer money to do this. He then used taxpayer money to try to avoid the original allegations against him from even seeing a simple fair investigation.

Sure Dalby messed up when she thought she had the right to keep copy's of all her work product and copied documents other than the political campaign documents she had on her States Attorney's office PC. She has paid the piper and then some for that indiscretion. After all this drama and wasted money it's simply time to look at the original allegations of crime that led to all this cloak and dagger and cover up.

Curious1 said...

GeneL. Before we get the FBI involved in the witch hunt, let's remember that Bianchi already tried to get Democratic Attorney General's office to go after this one and they decided there was nothing to pursue against even Dalby and those she shared this info with. Where I applaud Gus for his persistence in pursuing this story and putting local newspapers to shame, there really aren't any surprises in this FOIA release. Anyone following this story already had put together this much.

David J. Bachmann said...

Gus, good work!

Still see nothing about this in the NW Herald?

Curious1... "justasking" breath honey, breath.

David J. Bachmann said...

Curious1: You have painted to broad a 'scope' with your statement about the Illinois A.G. not investigating this situation.

The Illinois A.G. found 'nothing' to investigate Mr. Bianchi for... which is the ONLY matter that had been made public at the time. This was the 'narrow' issue on the table at the time.

How do you know, the evidence did not lead the Illinois A.G. or the Illinois State Police to open an investigation against the McHenry County Sheriff's office?

What was and or is going on, that had the judge feel it best to 'seal' records?

Is it possible that the FBI has already been looking at the Sherrif's department?

Nobody really knows just yet... Let's see what happens.. shall we?

Curious1 said...

Mr. Bachmann, you are simply incorrect on the facts. The newly unsealed files the NW Herald posted in the past week specifically had Mr. Bianchi claiming that he had asked the Attorney General to investigate the "theft" of files from his office and they had looked at the situation and declined to pursue it. Thus why Mr. Bianchi was requesting his handpicked private prosecutor be given taxpayer funds to pursue it. If you need to look the link is below...You may not like the fact, but you will see that Mr. Bianchi clearly states that the Attorney General's office declined his request to pursue the matter on the alleged theft of documents.

http://ssm.nwherald.com/pdfs/20091001dalby.pdf

Curious1 said...

Mr. Bachmann...I also have to tell you that when you go out and start long blogs to vent your anger at specific local politician's you come off sounding silly when you criticize others for commenting too much. A person with a long multi-page blog attacking on a subject looks hypocritical implying anyone else comments too much on a subject on a blog or comment section.

Not saying you shouldn't have your long-winded rambling blogs, for I applaud your "passion" just saying you are being a hypocrite for saying others should not be as boisterous in expressing their opinions also.

As for your choice of vulgar verbal sexual insults at women on your site, that has just been poor taste demonstrating,perhaps, some pent up anger towards women in general.

Gus said...

The link in the above comment from Curious1 does not work.

On October 1, 2009, the Northwest Herald carries an article about the specific special prosecutor. That article can be read at
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2009/10/01/08645264/

Gus said...

Regarding the comment by Curious1 at 3:40PM, I have not observed any "vulgar verbal sexual insults at women" on Bachmann's blog at www.dirtykeithvsdirtyharry.blogspot.com

If readers wish to comment on someone else's blog, they should leave their comments on that blog, not here.

Whitmore2 said...

I did get the link Curious1 sent by highlighting it and doing a Google search with it.

Is it inappropriate to mention the two unmentioned attorneys that the special prosecutor reported to the IL Attorney Reg. & Disciplinary Commission, as reported in the Daily Herald? Who do you suppose they are? Any way to find out?

Gus said...

Go to the Illinois Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission at www.iardc.org.

Scroll all the way down to the bottom, and then click on "New Filings, Hearing Schedules and Clerk's Office." Click on that.

Then click on "Recently Filed Complaints and Reports."

Scroll down and click on "Complaints", which contain allegations of misconduct that have not been adjudicated before the Hearing Board of the ARDC.

I only spotted one McHenry County attorney, and he did not appear to be associated with the case that is the topic of this article.

Curious1 said...

It also should prove interesting now that Bianchi's hand picked prosecutor stands accused of contempt of court for copying and sending secret grand jury minutes to 3rd parties, if some will remain consistent and argue he "stole" those documents.

GeneL said...

Curious1, going back over some previous comments. Cooper is on wiretap and states he has the flash drive with the stolen files. The Daily Herald reporter didn't need to FOIA the documents, he met with Dalby and Foley at Starbucks and looked at the stolen docs. But they needed to FOIA them so as not to implicate themselves as the group that stole them. Dalby signed a written statement stating she stole the files from the SA. Do you need a copy. Dalby also stated the theft was for a political campaign. Cooper was Regna's campaign manager, it's on the board of elections website. Are you going to tell me Dan didn't know about the theft. There were at least 3 attorneys involved with the theft. I think some nice letters with supporting docs should be sent to the IARDC. I haven't seen any stories on the special prosecutor in trouble. maybe he was just copying his own work like Dalby. Foley told her it was OK.Let's make all the docs in this case public. Bianchi will get a reprimand for campaign docs and Dalby,Cooper, Foley, and Regna will have adjoining cells. I also wonder ,was the Walrus involved. He supported Danni and was Cooper's boss.

Curious1 said...

Wow...If it was so clear cut I wonder why they dropped all the theft charges and only garnered a minor computer tampering charge that will not be a permanent part of her record?...As far as the allegations of contempt for against the special prosecutor, their is a hearing this week. The Daily Herald covered that story and not surprisingly the NW Herald did not. To be fair I don't think what the special prosecutor did was much worse than what Dalby did as long as his intention were honorable. I just think he is being hypocritical considering the way he went after others for doing something similar. He may have found a vague loophole to leak secret grand jury documents or he might very well be in contempt of court in what seems like an act of vindictiveness.

Curious1 said...

Simply put this one seems to fall back on "honesty". You are correct that many people have come out and admitted honestly that they saw copy's of these files. That has been investigated thoroughly and already adjudicated an the Prosecutor has submitted his final bill and moved on. Oddly the only people still denying knowledge of these documents are the people in the office where they were all along. I mean they even denied a freedom of information act request saying they could not find them and then a week or so later suddenly found them on the computer in question. You have got to be kidding me,Weeks to find a few specific files on one computer? Someone's simply not looking honest.

Curious1 said...

It is kind of interesting that the Prosecutor in the case against Dalby is scheduled for a hearing this week to face charges of Contempt of Court in this matter and no press in our county is reporting on it...You have to read the Daily Herald to know anything about it.